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Roundup: Four Radeon HD 6850 1 GB Cards Compared

Power And Efficiency

Voltage and clock speed have adverse effects on power consumption, so we expect the fastest cards to fall to the bottom of our power chart.

Asus has surprisingly low power consumption compared to MSI, and even the slightest power advantage for Sapphire’s oversized card surprises us when compared to PowerColor. We wonder why Sapphire needed to include two PCIe connectors?

Sapphire edges out PowerColor in average frame rate, but margins this small could be pure variance.

This is where our match gets tedious. We wanted to base our efficiency number purely on averages, so we first averaged the No AA and 4x AA average frame rates of each card. We then calculated a class average by averaging our list of averages. For those following along, the class average is 49.8 FPS.

Dividing each card’s average by the class average puts its performance level on a percent scale, where “zero difference” is actually 100% and the top cards are higher. Following the same procedure for Full Load and Idle power gives us a similar percent scale where the most miserly cards have the lowest score. Dividing those results gives use a calculation of efficiency, where class average is 100%.

Yet no electronic component is 100% efficient. We subtracted 1 from each card’s result to move the chart scale by 100%, focusing only on the differences in efficiency. Asus’ lower-power “mid-speed” card is 3.9% more efficient than the class average, while Sapphire’s moderate power consumption makes it the most efficient “fast” card.

  • It would be nice to see overclocking results. I know the whole "results will vary" malarkey but still, it would be interesting to see things like the benefit (if any) to having two pci-e power connectors on the Sapphire card or how high you could take the ASUS card using the software that came with it. Oh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?
    Reply
  • Scanlia
    Oh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?
    I use afterburner with a Gigabyte Card, (Flashed to ASUS). Works fine.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    BillehBawbOh, and also, can you use Afterburner with the Powercolor and Sapphire cards?Yes
    Reply
  • tomskent
    last line of the article...
    "Now, here did I put that Christmas list?"
    here = where
    Reply
  • scrumworks
    Why are you using catalyst 10.6 (drivers from june) instead of latest, quite long already available 10.11 or 10.10-beta with HD6800 support?
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    love this card looking to buy it for my new build and would go for ASUS as i already own the game.
    Reply
  • karma831
    No OCing?
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    so, wheres the comparison between these cards and rival cards from nvidia??? using recent drivers?? and OC???!this doesnt really tell us anything except the performance is so close you may as well get the cheapest of the lot.
    Reply
  • ATI driver support is a complete debacle. That's why this article uses stone age drivers (10.6)
    Reply
  • Crashman
    karma831No OCing?iam2thecroweso, wheres the comparison between these cards and rival cards from nvidia??? using recent drivers?? and OC???!this doesnt really tell us anything except the performance is so close you may as well get the cheapest of the lot.Er dude...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6870-radeon-hd-6850-barts,2776.html
    The previous article, which answered all your questions a month ago, was linked numerous times in this article.
    Reply